Zack Snyder’s Justice League was the best gift that fans of Snyder’s vision of the DC Universe could have asked for: a four-hour, fully restored version of the film that tragedy (and perhaps a bit of studio politics) had cruelly snatched away from the director before he could complete it the first time.
Snyder finally got to finish Justice League the way he wanted to, and while fans and critics alike can argue in good faith about the merits of the film itself, it’s clear that this version of it—unlike the truncated 2017 theatrical release—is the movie that Snyder set out to make. It also concluded his and wife/producer Deborah Snyder’s involvement with Warner Bros.’ DC movies.
Yet you can go on social media right now and if you look up the hashtag “#RestoreTheSnyderverse,” you’ll find fans clamoring for WB to let Snyder continue his story with a second Justice League film and perhaps more. That it has persevered more than six months since the director’s cut release is an interesting phenomenon, and one we asked both Zack and Deborah about when we interviewed them about their new film Army of Thieves.
“As far as [the fans] persisting with that hashtag, I always just take it as, you know, the confidence the fans have in my work,” Zack says. “I just hope as I go forward that I really do my best to honor that confidence they have in me by just making them the best films I know how.”
“It’s amazing,” Deborah agrees. “When you work on these films—and we work on them with such care—it’s like we have a love affair with these characters… it was the most fulfilling thing, personally, for all of us to be able to finish what we started with Justice League and actually get Zack’s vision out there. That was amazing unto itself, but then to have the fans react so positively was also amazing and something I think we never thought would happen.”
Deborah adds that the unprecedented campaign to have Justice League remixed and restored according to her husband’s original concept was proof of the power of the fanbase, as well as these fans’ own connection to the filmmakers and the personal struggles they went through.
“I mean, these fans never surprise me,” says the producer. “Because now I’ve seen what they can do. The whole journey was almost a Hollywood story unto itself, and I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t underestimate the power of the fans and we have been truly touched by the support they’ve given us as filmmakers but also to us as a family, because I think everyone realized how personal this was.”
Warner Bros. and DC are moving forward with projects like The Flash, The Batman, and Black Adam, while the Snyders, in collaboration with Netflix, are creating their own original shared universe of stories set in and around a worldwide zombie pandemic with Army of the Dead and the new Army of Thieves as the first two entries in that saga. And Zack Snyder says that in the end, overseeing his era of DC films served as a kind of springboard to creating an all-original shared universe.
“Frankly, I just was like, okay, well, we know how to do this,” he explains. “And we can do it with our own canon. That’s fun to do. Really we do it because it’s just fun movie stuff to expand these concepts and have them all connect and have that backstory make sense.”
Army of Thieves premieres Friday, Oct. 29 on Netflix.